Registration Obligations for Lobbyists

An undertaking to lobby is an agreement between a consultant lobbyist and a client (whether written or verbal) where the services the lobbyist will perform on behalf of the client include lobbying. Once an undertaking has been agreed to, the lobbyist has ten days to register him/herself on the Lobbyist Registry and file details regarding the lobbying activities associated with that client.

In-house lobbyists can work on a file for 30 hours annually before they are required to register their activities. This 30 hours includes all hours that other staff contribute to the file (such as interns, researchers, administrative support), travel and prep time. According to The Lobbyists Act, an in-house lobbyist must register within 60 days after the 30 hour threshold has been met. However, to avoid missing deadlines and for ease of filing, the Registrar recommends that in-house lobbyists register at the commencement of their activities.

Consultant and in-house lobbyists provide similar information on the Lobbyist Registry. That information includes contact information for the lobbyist and client (or the organization they work for), specific details about the lobbying activities and whom they are lobbying, as well as timelines. Submission of these details on the Lobbyist Registry is known as “filing a return”